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Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

An impressive work of nature with some of the steepest rocks, oldest formations, and the roughest spires in North America


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The Black Canyon of the Gunnison is an amazing creation of rocks, water, and air, formed over two million years ago. It provides great opportunities for mountaineering, hiking, camping and observing nature.

The best time to visit Black Canyon of Gunnison is summer, since the North rim roads, ranger station and the main road on the South rim are closed from November till mid-April. However, winter presents other opportunities such as cross-country and downhill skiing as well as snowshoeing.

Mountaineering opportunities in Black Canyon of the Gunnison include many trails down into the canyon however, they are rather dangerous and require special skills and equipment. There are also a few hiking trails on the rims which are quite easy.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is called Black because it's so deep and narrow that the bottom sees almost no sunlight. The Gunnison River is usually unnavigable on the park grounds however in Curecanti National Recreation Area, there is a boat tour on the wider, calmer part of the river.

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